Alibaba Global Course Arrives in Singapore
Published on 12 Apr 2018

Singapore, Apr 12, 2018 – Alibaba Group continues its mission to enable global business transformation in the digital age with the expansion of the Alibaba Global Course (AGC) to Singapore for the first time. Singapore is the first stop of the global AGC calendar for 2018, with additional events planned for India, Australia, the United States, Mexico and in Europe later in the year. 

The opening ceremony today was graced by Ms. Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Trade and Industry, in the presence of more than 2,000 attendees representing 600 SMEs and leading international companies.

The AGC is a series of public lectures that aims to enhance the capabilities of merchants around the world through a better understanding of e-commerce and related trends. In Singapore, the AGC is offered by Alibaba Business School and organised by Taobao University in partnership with Nanyang Polytechnic's Singapore Institute of Retail Studies (NYP-SIRS), SkillsFuture Singapore, National Trades Union Congress and StarHub. The Singapore leg of the AGC is the latest in a series of initiatives by Alibaba Group to empower local businesses and entrepreneurs to digitise and diversify their operations for the future.


Helping SMEs to be Future-Ready

"Our mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere and Singapore is integral towards realising this vision. We are delighted to be able to bring the Alibaba Global Course to Singapore for the first time and to share our key learnings from more than 18 years' experience of reshaping the way people shop and conduct business," said Brian Wong, Vice President of Alibaba Group, who shed light on Alibaba's globalisation initiatives at the opening ceremony today.

"SMEs form the majority of Singapore's businesses and they are key to the city-state's quest to be the hub of the future digital economy. We hope to continue partnering with local stakeholders and companies in this journey and navigate the exciting opportunities ahead together," continued Wong.

During the intensive one-day session, participants heard from leading minds from Taobao University and the Alibaba network, including the region's foremost made-to-measure interior furniture design brand Suofeiya, China's leading department store chain Intime Retail and enterprise data aggregator CBNData.

Among other topics, the speakers shared best practices on innovating customer experience with AI and machine learning and on bringing the concept of "New Retail" to life, as well as insights into the next frontier in digital lifestyle and cross-border purchases by Chinese consumers and the opportunities for SMEs here.


Taobao University and SIRS Extend Partnership

During the AGC, Taobao University and NYP-SIRS also announced the extension of a partnership first signed in 2016, which has in the past two years rolled out a host of e-commerce training programmes from Taobao University to Singapore retailers.

The 30-month renewal is geared towards beefing up the digital capability of local businesses and equipping them with knowledge of the latest industry developments. Under this agreement, Singapore-based businesses will also be able to access courses via a customised online learning platform developed by Taobao University for the first time. SMEs here can look forward to a more holistic learning experience with curated online courses tailored to the local business landscape and considerations, on top of other modules jointly offered by Taobao University and NYP-SIRS.

"The maturity of businesses and the strong talent pool in Singapore means our training efforts here so far have been very well received," said Lewis Lew, Vice President of Training College at Taobao University. "From opening up new business opportunities to improving productivity and operational capabilities by exploring consumer insights and new business models, we are confident that our initiatives will continue to complement the Singapore government's goal for businesses here to be future-ready in a new era of competition and disruption."

Megan Ong, Director of NYP-SIRS, said: "NYP-SIRS was the first training provider in Singapore to partner Taobao University in 2016. Many of our participants thrived in their retail business after attending the cross-border e-commerce training programmes. NYP-SIRS is committed to continue working closely with local retailers to enable them to be future-ready. With the extension of this partnership with Taobao University, we look forward to continuing our effort to equip the local retail industry with the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully tap into the vast e-commerce global market."